The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) announced that nine of its member companies have committed to a 50 per cent conversion of paper Bills of Lading in the next five years and a hundred per cent by 2030, as per the authority’s standards.
The move can push USD 30-40 billion in annual trade growth, save up to USD 6.5 billion in direct costs for stakeholders, improve sustainability, and enhance customer experience. Sea carriers issue approximately 45 million bills of lading annually. In 2021, 1.2 per cent of this number were electronic.
Speaking on occasion, the CEO of DCSA, Thomas Bagge, “The digitalisation of international trade holds great potential for the global economy by reducing friction. As trade brings prosperity, and the electronic bill of lading will further enable trade, it will bring millions out of poverty. This marks the start of a new era in container shipping as the industry transitions to scaled automation and completely paperless trade. Document digitisation can transform international trade and requires collaboration from all stakeholders. I applaud the leadership of our members in coming together to achieve this important milestone.”
A bill of lading works as a document of title, a receipt for shipped goods, and an account of agreed terms and conditions. Efforts towards this goal will contribute to the global climate goal of net zero 2050 and reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.